Some time ago I wrote a post called “Karma and Dharma: An Introduction.” which is basically a really basic description of a complex topic. Today I would like to go a bit deeper into the subject of Karma and why it is important for us to break free from our Karma.
From the moment you were born to this very moment that you are reading this post, you have accumulated karma. Everything you have done, or not done, everything you have thought, felt and said, your family, your home, your friends, your experiences – all these things have become inputs for your karma. Each thing influences who you are today. It is life memory. Even the way you think, feel and experience your life is influenced by your past inputs. Your body, your mind, your emotions and your energies is coloured by your karma.
In this way. we are living in Maya (illusion) – because everything we are creating in this moment is by default based on our past influences. It is not really a conscious way to live.
Right now, you are a bundle, perhaps even a tangled bundle of karma.
And that’s okay. That is not the problem. That part is only natural. It is what we do with our karma, whether we live with it, or we choose to break free from it – that will determine everything.
Karma has long been marketed as the punishment and reward system of life. Maybe that’s what sells in the media, but I have come to understand that the true concept of Karma is much more complex than that. It is not about punishment and reward at all, it is about restriction and freedom.
The more karma we accumulate the more restricted we are in life. When we burn through our karma, when we release our karma, or break through the shackles of our karma, we finally have the freedom to live life the way we want to live it.
Living Limited, Living Small
Whatever your karma is, it makes you a limited person because it does not allow you full expression in certain domains of your life. Depending on the inputs you have had throughout your life, these things have moulded, at the very least, your personality. Karma can build up more and more so that it begins to mould not only your personality, but also other areas of your life too, and in that way, it restricts you. You live limited, you live small.
First of all, karma runs in cycles, circles. As you can imagine, a circle allows no progress. It just keeps going round and round.
If you want to move forward, if you want to progress in life in any way, you have to break free of your karma.
Karma runs deep. We are programmed from not only our own actions, but also from our ancestors and their actions too. Even the way your mother and father are is imprinted in you. Maybe at 18 years old you rebel against your parents, but as you get older, you start to think like them, act like them, speak like them, even look like them. Have you noticed this?
But this is a very passive way to live your life. If we live this way, we will only continue to experience life the way the previous generation did. And there is no growth in that.
Something needs to change if we want to evolve. Our experience of life needs to evolve.
And I am not talking about technological advances and such that occur from generation to generation, I am saying that the way our children experience life should at the very least be more evolved than the way we have. The way we experience life should be more evolved than our ancestors. More evolved means at a higher level, more loving, more compassionate, more enlightened.
Breaking free from the shackles of Karma
In the most practical and crudest way possible – breaking free from your karma means making conscious choices to act differently to what you are karmically inclined to do.
So, for example, if your Karma is wake up at 10am, you set your alarm for 5am. When your alarm clock rings, your body karma will say “No, I don’t want to wake up at 5am, I want to wake up at 10am” but YOU are going to say “I am going to wake up at 5am” and thus you are breaking the old karmic process and consciously doing something else.
Another example: your karma is to get angry. You were abused as a child. Your father was an angry man and you watched him beat your mother. And now your own wife is making you angry. Your body and your mind screams “Be angry!” but you say “No. I will be peaceful.”
It takes tremendous power to break cycles of karma because karma runs deep, it can be so deeply ingrained in us.
But you can generate the power to overcome even the toughest karma – all you need is awareness. You need to know what you are dealing with. And you need to consciously act.
At first it may be novel, and then it will get hard. Every cell in your body will beg you to go back to be the way it was programmed to be by default. But if you cross that point, if you cross that point of madness, you will finally reach the other side of your Karma. Freedom.
It takes constant consciousness. Life takes constant consciousness.This means you cannot continue to live your life on autopilot. You have to consciously choose how you want to exist on this planet for this lifetime. Do you want to live happily? Good, so you should. Do you want to choose a different path for yourself than the one laid out ahead of you? Good, so you should. Do you want to break free from deep set pattens in your family of addictions, violence, broken relationships and just plain ol’ unhappiness? Good for you!
Karma is not your enemy
The stronger our likes and dislikes are, the stronger our karma.
But karma is not our enemy. It is not something we should hate or fear. But living unconsciously fuelled by only our likes and dislikes is our enemy. There is no freedom in that.
You don’t have to change anything about yourself, you just need to know how to manage it. If you can manage yourself, then it doesn’t matter how much karma you have or don’t have, because whatever is there, it does not have to restrict you in any way.
I don’t think we need to think too much about karma, our karma or the karma of others.It’s like gravity. It is a powerful force that we experience every day of our life, but not one that we think about every day. I think we just need to live our life in the best way that we can, and always try to break past deeply ingrained cycles.
All my love to all of you